John Matuszak, a professional football player, played Sloth in Goonies, a grown man with a sweet disposition and horrendous facial deformities, resulting from one too many drops on the head. The makeup was pretty revolutionary for the time (1986). Sloth is still a huge cultural icon today.
Eddie Murphy likes to play nearly all the roles in some of his movies. In The Nutty Professor and later in Norbit, Eddie plays a bunch of tubby characters that are completely convincing. You can tell they are Eddie, but he plays their individual personalities so well that they truly seem like different people.
Oh, watching Mrs. Doubtfire these days brings a tear to my eye. The late actor Robin Williams did an incredible job as the world’s best nanny, and he had some pretty great makeup to make it all the more believable. There was eight different stages of makeup that he had to go through to get the whole look.
Stunning beauty Charlize Theron really wanted people to pay attention to her acting and not her pretty face (or eyebrows) in Monster. The Australian beauty played serial killer Aileen Wuornos, in one of Theron’s most intense roles.
After Carrey starred in The Mask, he said that he would never do another film that required an intense makeup transformation. However, when he was offered the role of the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he couldn’t pass it up. He apparently had to take classes on how to resist picking at his face because the makeup was so uncomfortable.
8. Robert Downey Jr. As Krik Lazarus As Staff Sergeant Lincoln Osiris
Heath Ledger underwent a pretty crazy transformation through makeup for The Dark Knight, including a "Glasgow Smile." Reortedly, the role Ledger took on was said to have had a really serious effect on his psyche.
Gary Oldman is known for being an acting chameleon. He is known for taken on a great diversity of roles, requiring many different accents and sometimes pretty crazy makeup (i.e. Dracula). But Oldman was completely unrecognizable in Hannibal, as the creepy, deformed pedophile Mason Verger.
Doug Jones is a movie makeup artist’s dream. His height and crazy features means that he’s played some pretty crazy characters. He was the Faun and the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. He also worked for Guillermo del Toro in Hellboy and Mimic.
Who knew that John Travolta could make such a convincing woman? The Pulp Fiction star played Edna Turnblad in the 2007 version of Hairspray. But we have to pay homage to the original Edna, when drag queen Divine played her in John Waters’ 1988 film.
In David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, the lateJohn Hurt played John Merrick, a historical figure (real name Joseph Merrick) known for his severe deformities caused by elephantiasis. The makeup on Hurt took over eight hours to apply and two hours to remove. The incredible transformation was snubbed by the Oscars, to much protest.